Aaron Hicks’ season-long struggles now include a hamstring injury and Minnesota’s rookie center fielder has been placed on the disabled list. Oswaldo Arcia, who was demoted to Triple-A two weeks ago despite playing well in 30 games for the Twins, has been called back up to replace Hicks on the roster.
Hicks has recovered from a brutal 2-for-48 start to show some promise at the plate, but he’s still hitting just .179 with a .575 OPS and 56 strikeouts in 55 games overall.
It’ll be interesting to see how manager Ron Gardenhire divvies up the playing time in Hicks’ absence, because Arcia really has no business in center field and the only true center fielder on the Twins’ roster is Clete Thomas. Assuming that Thomas plays every day that means at least one of Arcia, Chris Parmelee, or Ryan Doumit will be on the bench.
Last night’s Angels-Astros game was a long affair with a bunch of homers and the use of 11 pitchers in all. The Angels used six pitchers and all of that business led to plenty of conferences. Six, in fact, which is their allotment under the new rule capping mound visits. As far as I can tell, that makes the Angels the first team to use up all of their mound visits since the advent of the rule.
Sadly, they did not try to go for a seventh, thereby testing the currently unknown limits of the rule. Umpires have been instructed to not allow additional mound visits, but they cannot issue balls or tackle anyone or anything to enforce it. Presumably, if Maldonado had walked out to talk to Cam Bedrosian about the weather or where he was going to dinner after the game, the home plate umpire would’ve simply done the old Robin Williams English policeman’s bit of yelling “Stop! . . . or I shall yell ‘Stop!’ again!” Maybe a fine would issue later, but we’ll never know.
At least until someone breaks the limit. And we know someone will, right? We should have a betting pool on who does it.